2014 STPCon Recap

247931_220967294594067_6157694_aLast week the Software Test Professional Conference traveled down to New Orleans. Bookended by the French Quarter Festival and the Jazz Festival, I think we all know who brought the real party to NOLA. The four day conference was jam packed with information on test strategy, performance testing, automation testing, mobile testing and leadership perspectives for testers. In addition to standard sessions the folks at STP also debuted a few new session formats, including roundtable discussions and keynote debates.

Tuesday, the first full day of the conference, kicked off with a debate between Rex Black and Cem Kaner. The topic up for debate was, do schools of testing help advance the field of software testing or do they have a negative impact on the industry? It was an interesting conversation and while they disagreed on a lot, ultimately both parties agreed that schools of testing are not inherently negative – as long as discourse remains civil and folks keep an open mind.

The first session I attended was delivered by Pradeep Govindasamy and focused on Mobile Application Testing – Through the Customer’s Eyes. In his session, Pradeep states that prevailing trends point to a steep upward curve in both volume and expenditures on mobile application projects. To that end, organizations must ensure they understand the risks associated with multiple platform and OS usage, and have the proper processes in place in order to stay ahead of this curve.

Unfortunately I was not able to attend any additional sessions on Tuesday, however I did have the pleasure of speaking with many of the conference attendees at the two Sponsor Showcases held that afternoon and evening. We even gave away an iPad Mini to one very lucky fellow – this gentleman won not one but two iPad Minis in the span of mere minutes!

On Wednesday I began my day by being forced selected to participate in a little improv comedy. Nothing gets the blood flowing quite like a game of ‘Moving People’. After being embarrassed motivated I found my way to a session on Interviewing Testers by Rex Black. As Rex points out, a problem employee can consume as much as 50% of their manager’s time, so hiring the right people is critical. In his talk, Rex discusses strategies that will allow managers to overcome hiring challenges and ensure that they and their teams are set up for long term success.

After that, I attended a Round Table discussion on mobile testing. It was interesting to hear that despite the shift toward mobile applications and platforms, in many organizations the infrastructure to support mobile testing is still in its infancy.  It’s clear that many organizations still have a lot to learn when it comes to mobile testing which really drives home the importance of knowledge-sharing events like STP.

After the round table, I sat in on my second live podcast with the guys from PerfBytes. If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting either Mark Tomlinson or James Pulley, you should really check out their pod cast because they’re very knowledgeable (and hilarious).

Once again, the folks at STP put on wonderful event; bringing people together from diverse backgrounds to learn, network and walk away with leadership strategies that will empower them to become software testing champions within their organization.

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